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Dynamics of a Grand Rapids Gun Charge

There are two categories of gun offenses in Grand Rapids. The first would be the unlawful possession or carrying of a weapon. The second category would be the unlawful use or discharge of a weapon. If a person does not have a concealed pistol license, also called a CPL in Michigan, then they are not lawfully able to carry or transport a gun under any circumstances unless they have properly prepared the weapon for transportation.

To best understand the full range of dynamics involved in a Grand Rapids gun charge, it is important that an individual consults with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. A knowledgeable Grand Rapids gun attorney can help an individual combat such charges.

Transportation of a Firearm

To properly transport a firearm in Grand Rapids, an individual should ensure that the gun is unloaded and kept in a case or locked in the trunk, with the ammunition and gun separated. The gun may not be accessible by the driver or any passenger. This is an important dynamic of a gun charge in Grand Rapids, as this specific action can detail a person’s charge.

Even then, the firearm may only be transported for a lawful purpose, and only to certain locations. These include transportation to go hunting or target shooting, to a place of repair, or to sell the gun. The firearm can be carried on public or private land where shooting is otherwise legal to a law enforcement agency.

Also, a weapon is always considered concealed when it is being carried in a motor vehicle, including off-road vehicles like four-wheelers and snowmobiles.  Therefore, it is always dangerous to transport a weapon in a car without a CPL, even if it is properly stored for a proper lawful purpose.

Otherwise, if an individual does not have a CPL and have otherwise violated the law, then anytime they have a gun in their possession, they can be charged with the five-year felony of carrying a concealed weapon. The other category of offenses is when a person has a weapon, whether they have a CPL or not, and they have unlawfully discharged it and caused to damage to either a person or their property.

Local Gun Ordinances

Other than the State of Michigan’s CPL law, the specific Grand Rapids ordinance that applies to gun charges is under section 9.172 which addresses the discharge of a firearm. Normally, outside Grand Rapids, a person cannot discharge a weapon within 450 feet on an occupied dwelling or building, but if the person is inside the city of Grand Rapids, then the person cannot discharge a weapon at all.

It is illegal to discharge a weapon within the city of Grand Rapids unless the person is at a gun range that has a target range within an enclosed structure within the city. If the person is on the streets or elsewhere in the city, the person is not allowed to discharge a gun at all.

There are certain exceptions to that ordinance, but they would not cover most people. They often cover police officers. People who are acting in a lawful defense of their own property, even though it is illegal to discharge a weapon in Grand Rapids, may be covered. If a person is discharging the gun in their own home in self-defense then the person can do so. There is a self-defense exception.

If the person is at an indoor enclosed firearm range, the person can discharge a gun there as well. There are a few other exceptions as well, but those are all set forth in section 9.175. Such exceptions are crucial dynamics that an individual should be aware of when handling their Grand Rapids gun charge.

Benefits of an Attorney

Most court-appointed lawyers do not have the investigative resources or the time to carefully examine the client’s cases or have the underlying expertise that a private law firm or private attorney may have. When a person hires a private lawyer, the first thing they want to do is make sure that they are hiring someone that has a high-level of expertise.

It may be a good idea to make sure that the attorney has enough time to pay attention to the case and use that time to properly investigate the case and pursue it in a way that will help to produce a positive result. The attorney should be able to effectively examine all dynamics of a Grand Rapids gun charge.

An individual should ask an attorney how many cases they currently have, and how much time they expect to spend defending the case.  If they are charging a comparatively low fee, then chances are good they do not plan on spending much time on the case.